Thursday, February 16, 2012

Beer Review! Our Special Ale 2011

So, this may come as a shock, but now that training has really kicked into high gear, I'm not drinking as much beer. It just doesn't fit into my schedule that well when I'm posting double digits runs and waking up at the crack of dawn on a weekday. That said, I still love a good brew on the weekends and last weekend I visited one of my favorite spots, Flair Beverages, a retail-wholesaler in Inwood. Since you can buy beer in singles, I picked out a mixed six pack so there should be some fuel for further reviews.

The first one I cracked open was Anchor Brewing's Our Special Ale 2011 (their Christmas brew). Why buy a Christmas beer in February? Because somehow I never got around to trying the 2011 version and I remembered liking it in 2010.

At first when you pour this beer it looks almost black but hold it up to the light and you notice it's a beautiful dark reddish brown. The head is light and cream colored. I got notes of baking spices (cloves, cinnamon, maybe some anise?) but also some evergreen notes like pine (I could have held my nose in the glass for a long time trying to pick out the different scents but someone also had to drink the darn thing).

This is not a highly carbonated beer and it felt much lighter than I expected given it's appearance, but unlike a certain other beer, this wasn't a disappointment. You could taste the roast malt and the spices mentioned earlier but there is also a slight sweetness wrapping the beer. All in all I would recommend this one. It's surprisingly complex for such a sessionable beer. Now I only wish I had picked up a second bottle!

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